Set in the fictional world of Rehavan, Ariel’s Tear tells the story of Reheuel, Captain of the Guards in the small human city of Gath Odrenoch. An aging soldier haunted by memories of his bloody youth, Reheuel lives a sedate but contented life with his family. Disillusioned with warfare and the glories of his nation’s conquests, he raises his children to value beauty and the wonders that enrich their lives.
His peaceful world shatters, however, when a tribe of goblins threatens both Gath Odrenoch and the nearby Fairy City. Intent on saving his family and on protecting the innocence of the childlike fairies, Reheuel sets off on a journey to save both cities. Lifting his sword once more, he rediscovers the true cost of earthly beauty.
This is a short book, especially for a fantasy novel, but the author manages to pack quite a lot in there.
The story follows Rehueul and his family as they fight to save their own home and that of the fairies. A gemstone, known as the Tear, is what gives fairies their power and the goblins have attacked and stolen it. As a result, the city begins to crumble and the fairies start to change.
Considering the shortness of this book, it really has a lot to say about childhood and the loss of innocence. Without the Tear, the Fairies connection to Innocence and each other is shattered. They start to gain independent though and can no longer go back to what they were.
The beginning of this book really drew me in. The prologue tells of how the world was created and the “gods” were born. But instead of gods like we would normally think of them, they are traits such as Innocence and Curiosity that gain sentience. This is such a unique concept, I really liked it.
There aren’t a ton of characters in this novel. It’s mostly Reheuel’s family and the fairies, of which only a few are given names. I thought that was great. Too often, it seems like fantasy novels have to throw in as many characters as possible and make the whole plot as weird and convoluted as possible. Ariel’s Tear is nice change of pace as it doesn’t do that and it doesn’t sacrifice anything in terms of description, story and characters.
I would have liked to have known a bit more backstory on the goblins. What were their motivations for attacking the fairy city other than stealing the Tear? They aren’t portrayed as a particularly intelligent race so I wonder how the decision to attack was made. Is there someone else behind the scenes influencing them for their own gain? There’s definitely potential for growth in this world.
A pronunciation guide would also have been helpful. There were a few character’s names that I had no idea how to pronounce properly. I probably butchered it terribly in my head.
My rating for this novel is 3 out of 5 stars and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a quick fantasy read.
Thanks for reading!